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Our top 5 film picks for December

BY Tom Browne

1st Jan 2015 Film & TV

Our top 5 film picks for December

We've selected five of the latest films out this month for you to watch. From the blockbusting sequel Star Wars: The Force Awakens to the Christmassy Love the Coopers. 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

There’s no getting away from it—J J Abrams’s reboot of the Star Wars franchise is about to steamroller all in its wake, hopefully banishing memories of the lacklustre prequels in the process.

So far, the advance word is positive—the trailers have a retro quality that recalls the original films, and Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are all present and correct, alongside new stars Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson. But with the project still shrouded in the kind of secrecy normally associated with MI5, we can only speculate…


Pawn Sacrifice 

The epic 1972 chess match between the Soviet world champion Boris Spassky and the eccentric American Bobby Fischer—the Cold War in miniature—has already been the subject of an award-winning documentary, and now it gets the big-screen treatment, with Tobey Maguire as Fischer and Liev Schreiber as Spassky.

It might seem a niche subject, but the story is good enough to lure non-chess fans.


Love the Coopers

Expect plenty of Christmas-themed movies crowding the multiplex this month, veering from the mildly amusing to the sickly sentimental.

This offering at least boasts a strong cast, with Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Marisa Tomei, Diane Keaton and John Goodman playing various members of the Cooper family coming together for their annual seasonal gathering—with unexpected and eye-opening results.


Victor Frankenstein 

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe surprised many in 2012 with his lead role in The Woman in Black, and now he returns to the horror genre as Igor in this quirky take on the Frankenstein legend, starring James McAvoy as the title character.

Rather than a straight adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic, this explores the origins of both characters and the destructive path they take.


By the Sea

Hollywood royalty Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie last starred together in the forgettable Mr & Mrs Smith, but this  drama, centred on a couple trying to save their marriage, has an altogether more serious tone.

Jolie also undertakes writing and directorial duties, and legendary cinematographer Christian Berger brings his usual A-game to the project, using mostly natural light.